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How was Cersei so influential on Robert?


EggBlue
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neither of them had the slightest shred of respect for the other and they had a turbulent marriage to say the least for years. Yet, Robert listened to Cersei almost every turn! he filled his court with Cersei's people , he picked the squires Cersei picked for him and he even spurred his Stormlander knights in his kingsgaurd in favor of the ones Cersei advised him. he even went so far in the last year of their unhappy marriage to name Cersei's kingslayer kingsgaurd brother warden of the East even though his own brothers were both eastern lords and almost every one of the lords in eastern kingdoms were loyal to his person. 

why?! was it what he deemed "kingly"? did he just want to end their conversations and be rid of her? did he feel guilty for the nights he drunken-raped her?

Edited by EggBlue
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"Happy wife happy life", (or as close to happiness as you can get with Cersei). Making Cersei truly content seems just as hard as keeping the wildings at bay on the wall. Robert's excessive drinking and whoring make him very difficult too deal with as well. Robert definitely had little interest in ruling so giving Cersei automony over somethings kinda kills two birds with one stone. 

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The acquiescence to Cersei's demands was basically acquiescence to Tywin Lannister. And Robert underestimated Cersei, I don't think he thought her capable of plotting to kill him. Add Robert's general indifference to governing and detail, that's how you get squires and pages picked by Cersei. Robert was pretty terrible to Cersei (and she was to him too). If I remember correctly, he has expressed guilt about how he treated her, but it was definitely not enough to yield to her demands. That was just not wanting to get Tywin mad.

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Robert always chooses the path of least resistence. I think choosing Ned as Hand was his last best chance to offer any resistence at all to the Lannisters, because he knew he didn't have it in him to oppose them. And even then, he tried to make Ned keep the peace with them, so even then he was choosing the path of least resistence.

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Cersei was the daughter of Tywin - the strongest and richest lord in westeros who supported him during the great war and the greyjoy rebellion. That and he was lazy and did not care about ruling or politics - which he was fine with leaving to Cersei

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23 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

In some ways Robert was a coward, and giving in to her was the path of least resistance to shut her up. Until the next issue.

This coupled with a general indifference to governance. There's also the debt aspect. There's a "non canon" line where Robert references being half a kingdom in debt to Cersei's father which is illuminating. However Jaime probably said it best:

"A man can bear most anything, if he must," Jaime told his son. I have smelled a man roasting, as King Aerys cooked him in his own armor. "The world is full of horrors, Tommen. You can fight them, or laugh at them, or look without seeing . . . go away inside."

And we know which one Robert would dearly love to choose and which one he actually resorts to.

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She knows exactly how to push his buttons and she's relentless. That doesn't excuse his abuses, but it's true years of marriage to Cersei have left him in a very bad mental state - shown by his reaction to her request for Lady's pelt. A lazy man would just have said yes (or no) and moved on - it's just an animal after all -  but Robert's reaction is extreme: Ned looks at his eyes and can only describe them as dead. And he doesn't get over it for days and weeks, so desperate to avoid his best friend Ned that he swaps his horse for Cersei's wheelhouse of all things (which is another reason for staying drunk for the rest of the journey, as he does). All for a dead wolf that shouldn't have been there anyway. This is mental distress, this is shame. For his toxic relationship with Cersei.

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On 1/17/2022 at 3:53 PM, EggBlue said:

neither of them had the slightest shred of respect for the other and they had a turbulent marriage to say the least for years. Yet, Robert listened to Cersei almost every turn! he filled his court with Cersei's people , he picked the squires Cersei picked for him and he even spurred his Stormlander knights in his kingsgaurd in favor of the ones Cersei advised him. he even went so far in the last year of their unhappy marriage to name Cersei's kingslayer kingsgaurd brother warden of the East even though his own brothers were both eastern lords and almost every one of the lords in eastern kingdoms were loyal to his person. 

why?! was it what he deemed "kingly"? did he just want to end their conversations and be rid of her? did he feel guilty for the nights he drunken-raped her?

Cersei was not good at managing but Robert was even worse.  Somebody had to make decisions.  Cersei at least had an interest in ruling. 

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I imagine it will have been a contest of wills with Cersei's being stronger. Robert never really cared that much for governance while Cersei probably had an opinion on everything and wouldn't shut up about it until Robert agreed. Over the years it will have ground him down to the point where it became harder and harder to say no. Robert clearly knows it's all going wrong and he should be standing up to her and doing better, but he lacks the energy and willpower, and probably, the interest, to do so.

You've also got Pycelle hanging around who will presumably consistently back Cersei's line on everything and means Robert is fighting on two fronts. Meanwhile Robert can't confide in Stannis, because Stannis is a dead fish, and Renly has been too young for most of his reign.

Most of this is probably down to conventional marital strife as much as anything else but that Cersei was Tywin's daughter will have made Robert's position even harder because he thinks he can't afford to offend Tywin. While mounting a counter-Tywin political campaign is perfectly feasible, it requires that same energy and application that Robert (or someone acting on his behalf) doesn't have. Renly, to his credit, does seem to see this, and is trying to build an anti-Tywin coalition in AGoT, but without consistent, directed support from Robert or his Hand it was probably never going to work.

It does make you wonder what Jon Arryn was doing. His job was presumably to shield Robert from this and try to keep Cersei - and by extension Tywin - in line, while Littlefinger (purportedly an Arryn loyalist) would balance Pycelle on the council. In this he seems to have failed. But it might be that he did the job effectively until around the time of Balon's rebellion (at which point, Ned recalls, Robert was still more like his old self) and then his health declined, allowing Cersei to grab more and more power.

Ned probably was the right choice as Hand, because he provides that sympathetic ear to Robert while having the energy to contest things with Cersei. But his appointment came far too late to make any difference, and most likely just hastened things to a conclusion.

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